This afternoon marked the last practice of the year we’ll get to watch, and the 49ers gave us a proper send off with the most boisterous, entertaining session of the offseason. After a pretty lifeless preseason opener, and less than 24 hours after a practice that was marred by a fight between C.J. Spillman and Michael Thomas, the 49ers looked like a team devoid of chemistry concerns.
The fun started when Tarell Brown lined up as the right cornerback against A.J. Jenkins. Jenkins ran a comeback route down the left sideline, and Colt McCoy targeted him about 15 yards downfield. First, a little background: Jenkins has good hands, but he isn’t known for being proactive. But on this play Jenkins came back, jumped and caught the pass in front of an oncoming Brown. Jenkins and Brown collided lightly (the team didn’t wear pads), Jenkins fell onto the grass with the ball secured, and the offensive players watching from the sidelines screamed their approval, led by the normally reserved Anquan Boldin.
That was just an appetizer. The main course came four plays later, with McCoy still leading the team downfield and the ball on the 15-yard-line. Chad Hall (who lined up as a slot corner for one play yesterday, believe it or not) started out wide to the right, and streaked left on the play along the back of the end zone. Donte Whitner was with Hall and, while he wasn’t blanketing Hall, he was close enough to make things interesting.
McCoy threw a pass to the back left corner of the end zone, and Hall — who’s listed at 5-8 — jumped. He tipped the ball with his right hand and caught it while coming down. He appeared to get both feet in bounds for the touchdown, and a 49ers employee signaled “catch” as the sideline erupted.
Boldin lost it completely. The starting offensive linemen, all at least 10 inches taller than Hall, came over and patted him on the helmet and shoulders. There was a buzz along the sideline for several minutes after the play, and not just because Whitner spent all that time complaining to the poor kid who said Hall caught the pass inbounds. It was the kind of moment that made you stop and say, “Damn, why couldn’t the Niners be on Hard Knocks?”
Niners notes and numbers
– The (unofficial) numbers for the quarterbacks:
- Colin Kaepernick: 15-for-22, 0 INT
- Colt McCoy: 9-for-14, 0 INT
- Scott Tolzien: 5-for-10, 0 INT
- B.J. Daniels: 13-for-28, 1 INT (Spillman on a deep pass)
– MarQueis Gray followed up a strong practice on Tuesday with five catches today. No one caught more balls than Gray except for Austin Collie, who led the team with six receptions.
– A.J. WATCH: Jenkins had two catches, including the one mentioned earlier.
– Kaepernick’s best throw of the day was a 40-yarder down the right sideline that perfectly led Vernon Davis, who left poor Travis Johnson in the dust.
– Michael Crabtree was here today:
After chilling in front of the weight room for a bit, he said hello to Trent Baalke, then went over to the field and talked to Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton, Anquan Boldin, Marlon Moore and the rest of the receivers. There was no noticeable limp, either when he walked around or when he did a fake-dropback as if he was a quarterback. Not sure who he was mimicking, but he looked pretty spry for a guy who tore his right Achilles back in May. In fact, myself, Ruthless (who was here today for the first time) and another writer had a hard time remembering which leg he injured.
– As the players sat down and started their post-practice stretching routine, “Teach Me How To Dougie” started playing over the sound system. The volume went up, and Lawrence Okoye stood up and taught the rest of the team how to … Dougie. Chances are most of the guys already knew how, but Okoye’s moves had the team laughing and yelling once again. It was a fitting end to the most exuberant, fun practice of camp so far.